Once a year, we buy our girls a Mickey balloon at Walt Disney World on their birthday.
The Mickey balloons are large and iconic. They are also $14.
For that reason, we make it a special event and part of their birthday celebration.
They wait all year for their Mickey balloon.
In November, when it was my little one’s birthday, she was ecstatic about buying a blue Mickey balloon.
She talked about it for weeks!
“Mama, I get a Mickey balloon for my birthday!”
“What color, baby girl?”
“BLUE!” she yelled out each time, never switching colors.
We arrived at Magic Kingdom on her birthday, and the balloons were not there.
Usually, they are by the main entrance, but on this day, they were late.
I inquired and was told they were running behind but should be out shortly.
We went about our day with our little one asking about her blue balloon every few minutes.
Finally, as we were heading out, we spotted the balloons.
With a heavy emphasis on the o, she exclaimed, “The ballooooonnnnnsssssss mama!”
We made our way over and stood behind a little boy in line.
My heart sank when I noticed they only had one blue balloon.
When the little boy in front of us purchased the only blue balloon, my little one began to sob. “The blue balloon, mama! I want the blue balloon!”
At that moment, I tried to calm her down, and I asked if they had more blue balloons in the back.
They did not, and they would not have more blue Mickey balloons for several hours.
I told my little one she had to pick a different color. With a quiver in her lip from crying, she picked red.
We all tried to tell her how beautiful her balloon was, and she was somewhat happy.
I could see in her eyes that she was sad her balloon was not blue. She was half happy.
I knew my daughter was learning a valuable lesson that life is often unfair.
That many times, you will wait for something. You will wait, and you will wait some more.
Maybe you will wait for a year as she did. Maybe two years or more.
You will wait with great anticipation. With excitement. With promise and hope.
Then, something happens to break your heart, and you realized you waited for nothing.
Your heart is filled with disappointment, and you have to accept “the second best” of what you really wanted.
It’s a hard lesson.
About four weeks later, it was my older daughter’s birthday. She was over the moon about the purple Mickey balloon we would buy her.
On the ferry ride over to the park, she quietly told me, “Mama, you can buy a blue balloon if they have one and give it to Adalind.”
“But baby, if you do that, you will have to wait another year for your Mickey balloon.”
She said, “It’s OK, Mama. She was so sad that she didn’t get her blue balloon. She is littler than me. I can wait.”
My eyes became teary. “You love your sister a lot, huh?” “Yeah, mama, really it’s fine. I want her to be happy.”
As we made our way into the park, my youngest yelled, “The ballooooonnnnnsssssss mama!”
They had plenty of colors this time.
My oldest handed her little sister the blue balloon, and she was overjoyed. Jumping and yelling loudly with an emphasis on the o, “The blue ballooooooooon!”
My oldest smiled, and when she turned, I had a purple balloon for her. It was her birthday, after all, and she had been waiting a year for this balloon.
Both girls walked hand in hand with their Mickey balloons.
So many lessons were learned through this experience.
Sometimes your heart is broken, waiting on something that never happens.
Sometimes you are given something you always wanted when you least expect it.
I have many days where I question my ability as a mother.
Then days like these happen, and I know I am doing something right.
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